British Steel will stage consultation events in Scunthorpe and Teesside to showcase its £1.25-billion proposals to transform its operations.
Earlier this month, the steel manufacturer unveiled ambitious plans for the biggest transformation in its
history with a proposal to become a clean, green and sustainable business by adopting electric arc
The plans, which are subject to appropriate support from the UK Government, could see British Steel
install 2 electric arc furnaces (EAFs) – the first at its headquarters in Scunthorpe, the second at its
manufacturing site in Teesside.
The new furnaces could be operational by late 2025 and would replace the aging iron and steelmaking
operations in Scunthorpe which are responsible for the vast majority of the company’s CO2 emissions.
The company proposes maintaining current operations until a transition to electric arc steelmaking.
In December, it will stage 4 events – 2 each in Scunthorpe and Teesside – for people requiring more
information about its plans.
British Steel CEO and President, Xijun Cao, said: “We have already engaged extensively with the public
and private sectors to understand the feasibility of producing net zero steel with our current blast furnace
operations. Thorough analysis shows this is not viable which is why we are proposing to transform our
operations so we can make the net zero steel the UK will need for decades to come.
“We’d now like to consult with the people living in our communities about our proposals to adopt a clean
and sustainable way of making steel.
“At the events, people will have the chance to see our plans in greater detail and ask questions about the
planning implications for our proposals. Feedback from the events will be used to shape any future
planning applications we may make.”
The events are:
Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 December 2023, between 13:00 and 18:00 hours, at The Paddock Suite,
Redcar Racecourse, Redcar Lane, Redcar TS10 2BY.
Friday 8 December 2023, between 11:00 and 15:00 hours, at the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Church
Square, Scunthorpe DN15 6TA.
Saturday 9 December 2023, between 10:00 and 13:00 hours at Scunthorpe Central Library, Carlton
Street, DN15 6TX.
There is no need to book for any of the events, people can simply attend on the day.
British Steel unveiled its Low-Carbon Roadmap in October 2021, pledging to invest in a range of
technologies to deliver net-zero steel by 2050, and significantly reduce its CO2 intensity by 2030 and
2035. However, the company is now proposing to accelerate its decarbonisation journey with the
potential new operating structure able to reduce its CO2 intensity by more than 75 per cent.
Xijun said: “Our desire to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint, coupled with current market
conditions, means we can’t wait and need to transform our business as quickly as possible. And while
decarbonisation will not happen overnight, it’s imperative we take swift and decisive action to ensure a
sustainable future for British Steel.
“We studied having one large electric arc furnace based in Scunthorpe, one which was capable of
manufacturing all of the steel we require for our rolling mills in the Humber and the North East. However,
such a large furnace would require a new National Grid connection and it is anticipated this would not be
available until 2034. We therefore believe the most viable and timely option is to have 2 smaller furnaces
which combine to produce the volumes of steel we require.”
British Steel has conducted feasibility studies into introducing EAFs to Scunthorpe and Teesside, and
discussed the potential changes to its operations with North Lincolnshire Council, Redcar and Cleveland
Borough Council and the Tees Valley Combined Authority. Because of the need to decarbonise its
operations at pace, and the planning processes required, the company has submitted an Environmental
Impact Assessment Scoping Request to North Lincolnshire Council. This would enable British Steel to
meet appropriate timeframes should it decide to press ahead with the proposals and it be successful in
securing planning approvals.
British Steel has started preliminary talks with trade unions about electrification, and has promised to
support employees affected by the decarbonisation plans. It has agreed for its proposals to be reviewed
by an external specialist on behalf of the trade unions.
The company is also working with North Lincolnshire Council on a masterplan to attract new businesses
and jobs to the Scunthorpe site, parts of which could become vacant if the proposals go ahead.